“The most challenging part,” says Brenda, “was pulling it all together so quickly, especially when we added authors right up to the sale week! It was also a challenge getting the word out to readers. We're working on marketing ideas for future book sales.”
After delays with the editor and more with the designer, Stacy's book was scheduled to arrive on Monday AFTER the Saturday event! It took a call to the printer and the prayers of her hairdresser to get it there on time.
LeAnne Hardy’s biggest challenge was getting dressed. She wore an authentic sixteenth-century gown she had made herself to highlight her Glastonbury Grail Series, and it required lacing up the back. Very tight lacing. “I need a lady’s maid!” she moaned. “Actually, the process of sewing the dress gave me lots of new insights into my character.”
Kathryn Dahlstrom says she needed extra sleep the night before because “I pour all my energy into book signings; I stay standing and pitch, pitch, pitch.” But she and her husband have three cats who gallop through the house and crisscross their bed all night. She usually manages to sleep through it, but when the five-month-old bit her toes the night before the Harvest, she came awake yelling! “The Lord was my strength,” she says, “but it took extra coffee for the drive home."
We all enjoyed talking with old friends and meeting new. “I love meeting people who have actually read my book!” Stacy says. “One was the mother of the gal who worked on my cover. She said such nice things (as did her husband at a different time) and was excited to buy book 2. That's still pretty bizarre to me!”
Kathryn was thrilled with two boys who picked up her middle-grade fantasy, read the back cover and pronounced it “Cool!” Their Dad bought it for them. “This is why I do what I do,” Kathryn says. “May they be drawn closer to Jesus right along with my main character.” She loved meeting other adults who are fantasy fanatics—the adults who also read the back cover and pronounced it “Cool!”
Stacy “was tickled to meet people who were there to support another author but stopped by to chat. They had such nice things to say about everyone.” Brenda especially enjoyed a couple with interesting accents who stayed from beginning to end. “They were so much fun to talk with, and I loved watching them flit around the room talking with everyone.”
LeAnne had to smile at the little girl who was sure that her YA novel about HIV in South Africa must be a mystery with a title like Keeping Secrets. She made sure the mother understood what it was actually about before she bought it.
Everyone is enthusiastic about doing this again. Dolores Toploff says, “In my books [the event] was highly successful and totally worth supporting." She was pleased to be part of such a great group of people. "The snacks were inviting and generous and I loved that some of you took your friends and acquaintances in hand and brought them over to introduce to the rest of us. I have not seen that kind of sharing before and besides enjoying it, I was/am very impressed.
Stacy would like to start planning future events much earlier. She wants to "find more ways to publicize it, and come up with new ways to get people to stop by every table.” It has even been suggested that we should consider doing a fall AND a spring event.
Watch this space for future announcements!
[Reported by LeAnne Hardy.]